Sunday, February 11, 2007

Just the Prop. 207 Facts

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Proposition 207 could affect land use decisions

Thursday, January 18, 2007

PRESCOTT -- Arizona voters approved Proposition 207, the Private Property Rights Protection Act, Nov. 7, 2006. The governor signed it into law a month later.

Deputy County Attorney Randy Schurr told the Board of Supervisors Tuesday the proposition has two major components.

Schurr said the first component deals with eminent domain. In the past, governments could seize private property only for a public purpose.

Schurr said the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that economic development is a public purpose. However, he said this part of Prop. 207 has little effect on the county.

The reduction in value component is more important, Schurr said.

"In the past, the reduction of property value was not eligible for valuation compensation unless the value was reduced to nothing," he said.

When voters passed Prop. 207, Schurr said property owners are eligible for compensation if their property value decreases because of a zoning or land use change.

"If there is a reduction in the right to use the property, there could be a reduction in the value," he said.

Chairman Chip Davis asked if the denial of a use permit or a change to adjoining property qualifies as a reduction in right.

Supervisor Carol Springer said, "A neighbor has no claim unless his or her property is directly affected."

Schurr noted that the law is not retroactive. He added that the original property owner must file the reduction in right claim.

The deputy county attorney said Prop. 207 includes a three-year statute of limitations for filing a claim and governments have 90 days to respond to the claim.

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